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Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic & Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese

Let me tell you a fun fact: before 1727 people said “carameled” instead of “caramelized”. But it meant the same thing then as it does now — cooking something with natural sugars until they turn a beautiful, deliciously-sweet brown color that adds flavor to every dish. This macaroni and cheese recipe includes caramelized sweet potatoes, giving an old, cheesy favorite a sweet twist. Mix these potatoes with a bunch of garlic, a handful of curly noodles, a dash of herbs and plenty of yummy Tillamook Cheese and you’ll find yourself with a satisfied belly. And THAT is a fun fact!

Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic & Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese


10 garlic cloves
1 large sweet potato (about 16 ounces), peeled and cut into ¼ – inch thick slices on the diagonal
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces cavatappi pasta
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 tablespoons Tillamook Unsalted Butter
4 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups half-and-half
2 cups Tillamook Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
¾ cup shredded asiago cheese
1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs from rustic Italian bread

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes; remove cloves and place in ice water. When cloves have cooled, use a garlic press to press the blanched cloves; set aside.

Bring water back to a boil and add sweet potato slices and cook for 5 minutes or until tender; drain. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sweet potatoes and cook, flipping occasionally, until they develop a caramelized crust (about 5 minutes). Dice sweet potatoes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add in salt and pepper, and, with a wire whisk, gradually add the half-and-half. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Reduce heat, and then simmer for 1 minute. Stir 1¾ cup Italian shred and ½ cup asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Add the blanched pressed garlic, diced sweet potatoes, minced garlic, rosemary and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Pour into greased casserole dish.

To make topping, combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, bread crumbs, ¼ cup Italian shred, and ¼ cup asiago cheese in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle on top of pasta.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the topping golden brown. Serve. Makes 8 servings.


chris schepman

Looks delicious!

September 30th, 2011 at 10:11 am

Tillamook Team

Is sure does, Chris! Let us know if you make it and how it turns out!

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

September 30th, 2011 at 1:03 pm


What a fantastic side dish to make for Thanksgiving!

October 22nd, 2011 at 10:17 am

Tillamook Team

Hi, Christin! I'm so glad you're excited about this recipe. If you decide to make it let me know what you think. It's been a popular favorite!

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

October 25th, 2011 at 12:05 pm


I made this recipe 3 or 4 times last fall. I took it to another family's Thanksgiving celebration, it was the first thing gone and everyone begged for the recipe! I plan on making it several times again this holiday season!

November 8th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Tillamook Team

Wow! What great feedback, Amy! It's really nice to hear when fans have an extra awesome experience with a recipe we've shared. Thanks so much for letting us know. I hope you have as much fun making it this year as you did last!

Jala of the Tillamook Team

November 8th, 2011 at 3:18 pm
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